Traditional, hardware-based security systems worked well when enterprises operated within the confined premises of an office. Organizations have long been able to rely on legacy security technologies like virtual private networks (VPNs) to secure their data, networks, and other resources.

But things are changing now.

The Need for Change

The shift to cloud-based applications and hybrid work environments has rendered legacy technologies like VPN insufficient to meet the cybersecurity needs of many businesses. As employees use their personal devices and unsecured networks to access business data and systems, they broaden the attack surface and open the doors for catastrophic cyberattacks.

With nearly 74% of CFOs1 planning to permanently adopt remote work environments, there’s a growing need for advanced security solutions.

That’s where ZTNA or zero trust network access steps into the picture. It’s based on the principle of zero-trust security, which reduces the attack surface by making resources invisible until access is granted. This model always assumes breach and verifies before granting access. 

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Commonly Used Legacy Security Technology: VPN 

VPNs establish a private and secure connection on a public network. That, in turn, helps protect confidential data, such as a user’s credentials and payment information. Additionally, it lets users access geo-blocked services and overcomes data throttling issues.

The Drawbacks 

VPN was designed with the needs of an on-premise workforce in mind. VPNs are hardware-based solutions, which makes them difficult and expensive to scale. They’re also vulnerable to the risk of exposed ports and aren’t suitable for cloud-based operations.

ZTNA: A Closer Look

Unlike VPN, ZTNA is a cutting-edge security framework based on the principle of “never trust, always verify.” That means no user or device is trusted unless it’s authenticated and authorized. Additionally, no network resources are visible to a user until they’re verified and granted access.

With ZTNA, verified users receive access to limited data and applications based on their needs. It can even monitor and re-evaluate a user’s access level in real time. That makes ZTNA more suitable for companies that rely on cloud-based tools and hybrid work environments. It isn’t surprising that by 2025, at least 40% of remote access usage2 will be facilitated by ZTNA. 

Additionally, ZTNA is a more scalable and cost-effective solution than legacy technologies. It even helps enterprises recover faster after a cyber attack. Case in point: the average cost of a data breach is 35% (or $1.76 million) lower per breach3 for companies in the mature stage of ZTNA deployment.

The terms ZTNA and SDP are often used interchangeably. SDP or software-defined perimeter helps establish a secure connection between a user and the resources they need. It’s used to enforce zero trust privilege and restricts access to network resources. 

SDP ensures the effective deployment of ZTNA. Being a software-based solution, it’s flexible and scalable, making it an excellent choice for a hybrid workforce.

Final Thoughts

ZTNA is fast replacing legacy security technologies like VPN and NAC. Zero trust offers improved security, performance, and scalability. 

Reach out to us to learn more about ZTNA and get started with advanced cybersecurity protection that keeps your network safe – wherever your workers are.


Sources:

  1. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-04-03-gartner-cfo-surey-reveals-74-percent-of-organizations-to-shift-some-employees-to-remote-work-permanently2
  2. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2021-06-22-gartner-forecasts-51-percent-of-global-knowledge-workers-will-be-remote-by-2021
  3. https://www.ibm.com/security/data-breach
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